“Social Construction of Whiteness” topic of URI lecture KINGSTON, R.I. — February 2, 1999 — Abran Salazar, an associate professor in the Speech Communication Dept. at Texas A&M University, will present a lecture on the “Social Construction of Whiteness” at the University of Rhode Island on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Free and open to the public, the lecture will be held at 2 p.m., in the Multicultural Center on the Kingston Campus. Salazar, whose research in small group decision making, health communication, and cultural communication has been widely recognized, will focus on how everyday conversations and non-verbal behaviors construct a ‘whiteness’ ideology, much in the same way that a ‘gender’ ideology is communicated through such language as “chairman.” Salazar claims that assumptions are made in language that people are white or share a white background. Most research has examined this ideology in public policy and discourse and the popular media, yet relatively little attention has been paid to how this ideology transcends into the mundane everyday transactions between people. In his talk, Salazar will provide examples illustrating how the simplest communications may convey, reinforce, and perpetuate these ideologies. The implications for how individuals conduct relationships and conversation, and how scholars conduct interpersonal communication research will be discussed. A graduate of the University of Iowa and Eastern New Mexico University, Salazar is currently working on a new textbook in small group communication with URI Communication Studies Assistant Professor Geoffrey B. Leatham of Richmond, R.I. Salazar’s visit is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the URI Dept. of Communication Studies, the Multicultural Center, and the URI Cancer Prevention Research Center.